Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence
‘This free-spirited girl knew that she and her sisters must escape from this place’. What characteristics did Molly display which enabled the sisters to escape and return to their families? Not only is this book about how three little aboriginal girls travelled across half of Australia but is also teaches us how the aboriginals were treated.
Throughout Doris Pilkington’s and Nugi Garimara’s novel, the protagonist Molly, has a set of characteristics that help her and her two cousins escape from the re-education camp for half-casts, she is strong mentally when she was bullied, she is knowledgeable because she was able to cross half of Australia with no map or compass, and she is very loyal and emotionally attached to her land.
When Molly was only about four years, she was constantly bullied because she was a half-cast, but besides these constant insults, she was strong and kept positive.
Because she was neither a Mardu nor wudgebulla and was regarded as a mongrel dog and wasn’t liked by the aboriginal children so she threw “handfuls of sand or stones and threw them at her tormentors, and sometimes she chased them with a stick. ” But as she got older she “became used to the insults, and although they still hurt, she didn’t show it. ” This shows Molly’s mental strength against her bullies and tried to stay positive even though she “Wished that she didn’t have light skin so that she didn’t have to play by herself. She is also mentally strong because for three young girls to travel from Perth to Jigalong, she needs to be in the right mindset and be positive because she was determined to get back because she needed to see her family. Not many people could and would be able to do this but these girls especially Molly were brave and persistent and kept their head up. So it can be said that Molly is mentally strong because she is able to beat her bullies and go back home to Jigalong.
When Molly and her two cousins escape the camp, she is faced with an enormous walk without a compass or map, but Molly has grown up in this land and knows what to do and where to go. She “had no fear because the wilderness was her kin. ” This means that the wilderness is her family which “always provided shelter, food and sustenance. ” She also memorised which was they travelled so she knew to head north and to follow the rabbit-proof fence.
With her developed bushcraft skills and survival techniques she was able to lead her two cousins through traitorous terrain and back home and also lead the tracker and constable Rigs to the wrong places. Therefore it can be said that throughout the novel, Molly uses her knowledge of the land to get back home safely with her cousins and remove their tracks. Throughout the novel, we see that Molly is very loyal and emotionally attached to her land.
We see this when Molly and Gracie were walking through the country when they were almost home and they are pointing out special places to each other, for Molly it was a “Quick trip down memory’s landscape” which “A feeling of nostalgia brought tears to her eyes. ” This shows how much she missed and appreciates the land she grew up in and shows us how loyal she is to it. It means so much to her and like in the movie ‘Kanyini’ without it she is nothing. So it can be said that Molly is loyal and emotionally attached to her land especially when it gets taken away from her.
Throughout the novel written by Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara, Molly has a set of traits which help her and her cousins escape the re-education camp, travel a substantial distance and get back to Jigalong safely. It was her inner strength, her knowledge of her land and her emotional attachment to her land. We can also learn from this book that someone cannot take from others even if they think it is the right decision. Doris Pilkington and Nugi Garimara tell us just one of many stories that has happened to many of the stolen generation and it makes us think about it.